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Public investment efficiency in WAEMU zone: do financing sources matter?

Moulaye Bamba (Millennium Institute, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
Juste Somé (Department of Economics, Université Norbert Zongo, Koudougou, Burkina Faso)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Article publication date: 13 December 2022

Issue publication date: 7 March 2023




This paper aims to assess the efficiency of public investment in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries at both the global and sectoral level over the 2005–2015 period.


This paper estimates efficiency scores using stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) models. Efficiency is divided into managerial efficiency (related to inputs management) and technological efficiency (related to production technology). A Tobit model is then used to investigate the determinants of public investment efficiency.


The findings suggest that, at the global level, WAEMU countries are less efficient than sub-Saharan African and Asian reference countries. However, the breakdown of global efficiency into managerial and technological reveals that WAEMU countries are more efficient than sub-Saharan African countries in terms of technological efficiency. Moreover, these findings are robust to nonparametric estimation. The assessment of financing sources indicates that external debt has a more positive and significant effect on public investment efficiency than internal debt does.


This paper is unique in that it disentangles managerial efficiency from the technological efficiency of public investment in WEAMU countries and highlights how financing sources of investment affect its efficiency. In terms of policy implications, the underlying message of the results is that the rules and conditions of domestic or regional debt in the WAEMU countries must be strengthened to ensure better monitoring and then better efficiency of these resources.



The authors would like to thank Pr. Jean-Louis Combes, Pr. Alexandru Minea, Pr. Marcel Voia, Pr. Cecile Couharde, Pr. Marie-Françoise Renard, Dr. Abebe Dadi and Dr. Samba Mamadou for their reviews and comments. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessary reflect those of their institutions.


Bamba, M. and Somé, J. (2023), "Public investment efficiency in WAEMU zone: do financing sources matter?", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 123-139.



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